Economic Bakhtar News Agency is the official state news agency of the Afghan government, based in Kabul. The agency is a major source of news for all media in Afghanistan, gathering domestic and international news and providing information to outlets. Thu, 29 Jun 2017 03:45:41 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Afghanistan Removed From International Banking Gray List

Wednesday June 28, 2017
Kabul (BNA) The Central Bank of Afghanistan said Saturday that after five years Afghanistan has finally been removed from the gray list, of countries with questionable banking systems, by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Officials at the Central Bank said Afghanistan has fulfilled all FATA conditions in order for it to be removed from the list. This means, Afghanistan’s financial system will gain credibility around the world and all banks in the country will in future be able to deal with international banks in other countries, officials at the bank said. Countries on the gray list are faced with serious limitations in money dealings. In 2014, Afghanistan was on the verge of being blacklisted by the FATF – alongside North Korea and Iran. At the time, FATF threatened to move Afghanistan to the blacklist if it did not criminalize money laundering, establish a system to trace terrorist money, and track the cash flowing back and forth across the country’s porous borders. FATF is an inter-governmental body that sets standards for financial-crimes law.

Economic Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:23:53 +0000
Development Budget Expenditure In First Six Months Inadequate: Finance Ministry Development Budget Expenditure In First Six Months Inadequate: Finance Ministry

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The ministry of finance has said that estimates indicated that development budget had been spent far less than expected.
Mustafa Shareq, in charge of Budget Security Section of the Ministry has said the fresh evaluation has highlighted that the budget spend midyear (this year’s first six month) was 15 percent – very little, arguing technical problems, insecurity, and imposing some condition by the donors of the projects, were the main reasons behind the scale-down, compared to the last year.
However, he said the budget had been directed to have been properly spent.
429 billion Afghanis for the 2017’s fiscal year budget with 248 billion ordinary and 161 billion development has been inked by the house of people.
According to the information provided by the ministry of finance, right now, 63 budgetary units were available with yet to be clear that how much percent of their budget they owned, but ten days ago, more 12 ministries possessing more than 80 percent of their development budget have attended a meeting held at the Presidential Palace.
Seven ministers, for failing to spend less than 70 percent of their budget have been disqualified by the house of people, by the end of the last fiscal year.
Analysts believed if the ministries send the allocated budget to the provinces, they will not face lack of budget.
The provincial governors should authorized in expenditure of the budget, but this should be investigated that where the budget has been spent, said an analyst Sayed Qeyas Sayedi.
“Contracts are restricted to be signed within ministries. The provincial governments should authorized to spend the budget through giving projects to the people. Procurement and bidding systems should be conducted at both the center and provincial levels,” said Sayedi.
He said if the projects were not executed and the people were not provided with work opportunities, insecurity would persistently surge in the country.
Shukria Kohistani

Economic Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:59:09 +0000
Afghanistan-India Air Cargo Corridor Inaugurated Afghanistan-India Air Cargo Corridor Inaugurated

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani officially inaugurated Kabul-New Delhi aerial trade corridor, his office said in a statement on Monday.
According to the statement, the first freight flight took off from the capital Kabul on Monday afternoon, carrying 60 tons of medical plants worth $ 11 million.
Afghanistan is eyeing a 60 percent surge in exports to India through this air route, after frequent border closures by Pakistan has affected its trade drastically in the last two years, the statement added.
The next flight will take off in a week from eastern province of Kandahar, with an estimated 40 tons of fresh and dried fruits. Similar flights are scheduled from India to Afghanistan.
The idea, conceived during President Ghani’s trip to India for the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process summit last year, would link Kabul and Kandahar to the Indian capital, New Delhi.
President Ghani was accompanied by Indian Ambassador Manpreet Vohra, a number of cabinet members, presidential advisors and some other officials at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, as they saw the state-owned Ariana Airlines fly for New Delhi.
“Those who create challenge for us should know that we turn challenge into opportunity,” President Ghani said while urging neighboring countries to come together for economic connectivity and elimination of poverty in the region, the statement continued.
Kabul based Indian ambassador Vohra said he hopes bilateral trade would reach the billion dollars mark in the next three years.
Welcoming the initiative, deputy to the chamber of commerce and industries, Khan Jan Alokozai said, “The transit problems have been told by private sector to president at the very first days of the national unity government, and today we witness inauguration of Afghanistan-India air corridor.”
Thanking the India Prime Minister, Narendra Modi cooperation and special attention to the people and government of Afghanistan, President Ghani said, “I and Modi were already reached an agreement on establishing the air corridor and today, we practically witness this.”
The president instructed the customs and Hamid Karzai International airports’ in-charges to review the private sector problems on exporting products and present the report to the presidential office within the next two weeks.

Economic Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:55:38 +0000
India Afghanistan Cargo Flights Take-Off India Afghanistan Cargo Flights Take-Off

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The first air cargo service between India and Afghanistan was launched today by Ariana Afghan Airlines.
Indian ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra confirmed on his twitter account that the first return flight was set to leave Kabul for Delhi today.  The service will bypass the land crossing between the two countries via Pakistan.  Indian press reports said that Pakistan has put limitations on the amount of cargo Afghanistan is allowed to export to India, while in the opposite direction a complete ban is in place.  However, the flight will use Pakistani airspace.  Initially, the service will fly once or twice a month, but this could increase if there is enough demand.

Economic Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:08:37 +0000
NPC Approves 10 Contracts Worth 1.4 Billion Afghanis NPC Approves 10 Contracts Worth 1.4 Billion Afghanis

Tuesday June 20, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The National Procurement Commission (NPC) with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on the chair approved 10 contracts, including four road asphalting projects worth 1.4 billion Afghanis, a presidential statement said yesterday.
According to the statement, the contacts include:
- Asphalting Parwan-3 road, road connecting Tanzif square to Lab-e-Jar square, 500 Family square and Lycee Maryam road to Khesht-e-Hochtif related to Kabul municipality.
-  Reconstruction of Laqi, Shahrwan and Seyah Aab canals of Takhar province related to Ministry of Energy and Water.
- Recruitment of Consultation Company for the Trans-Hindukush road project related to Ministry of Public Works.
- Maintenance services of Hamid Karzai International Airport.
- Maintenance project of Mazar-e-Sharif Radar system related to Civil Aviation Authority.
- Purchasing of 191 items of vehicle belong equipment related to Ministry of Interior.
- Provision of IT equipment to Capital Region Independent Development Authority.
- And public awareness project related to Ministry of Counternarcotics
The National Procurement Commission also discussed classification of the companies based on their capacities in order to prepare the ground for further engagement of the small and middle class companies to take part in procurement process, in particular those of women-run firms, easing domestic investment opportunities in construction sector in the country.
The session was attended by the chief executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Ministers of Finance, Economy and Justice, Presidential senior advisor on infrastructural affairs Dr. Mohammad Homyoun Qaiumi, officials of the National Procurement Authority and observers of the budgetary commission of the National Assembly.

Economic Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:56:21 +0000
Construction Companies’ Problems To Be Addressed, CE’-problems-to-be-addressed-ce.html’-problems-to-be-addressed-ce.html Construction Companies’ Problems To Be Addressed, CE

Tuesday June 20, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Chief Executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah met yesterday with officials of a number of construction companies at Sapidar Palace in Kabul.
In the meeting, officials and representatives of the construction companies enumerated a range of problems facing the companies in the country and said they had constructed and renovated MoIA-related buildings and bases in very difficult situations, but no money had been paid so far. They said that they had repeatedly raised their voices and shared their problems with relevant officials, but there has been no positive outcome.
After hearing their problems, the country’s chief executive assured that such problems would be reviewed and addressed. He added he knew what problems the companies had and would soon instruct MoIA to legally address problems of the construction companies. According to another report, chief executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah met with Tajik ambassador to Kabul Sharafuddin Imam and discussed relations between the two countries.

Economic Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:49:32 +0000
Afghanistan, India To Operate Dedicated Air Cargo Today Afghanistan, India To Operate Dedicated Air Cargo Today

Sunday June 18, 2017

Kabul (BNA) India and Afghanistan will operationalize today, a dedicated air cargo link that will help increase bilateral trade hampered by their troubled ties with Pakistan that disallows Indian goods along the road route. “The freight corridor between India and Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming a reality,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay told reporters in Delhi. The spokesman said the decision to have the “dedicated freight corridor” and overcome the difficulties between India and landlocked-Afghanistan was taken during President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to India in December last year. “The idea of establishing a dedicated air freight corridor was taken in view of the difficulties that we have on the ground in terms of connectivity between the two countries. At the moment, the idea is to try and see if this can be with a frequency of, let us say, a month or every fortnight,” he said.
The road link between the two countries passes through Pakistan, which allows Afghanistan to send only a limited amount of goods to India while Indian goods are not allowed along this land route at all. The air cargo service is aimed at giving Afghanistan an alternative trade link to the Indian market and take Indian goods to the war-ravaged country. Afghan fruits, dry fruits and carpets are high in demand in India and the freight corridor is likely to push the imports. “The flight will take Indian products to Afghanistan and will bring products of Afghanistan to India. It will operate between Delhi and Kabul. It is likely that this may take place either over the weekend itself or very early next week.” Asked if air freighting the goods would be commercially viable, Baglay said the first flight to be run by Afghanistan’s Ariana Airlines would determine the feasibility of the idea. “It is, at the end of the day, a commercial venture which is supported very strongly and very purposefully by both the governments.”
He said the idea at the moment was not to operate a daily flight but perhaps once a month or every fortnight. Baglay said the flight would use Pakistani airspace as it is a civil cargo plane and standard operating procedures, as stipulated, would be followed by flight operators. “There are standard operating procedures for commercial flights, freight flights, cargo flights... very clearly stipulated procedures. I am sure the companies concerned are looking into it,” he added. Baglay also said that a warm reception would be accorded to the flight when it lands in Delhi with Afghan products like dry fruits and other agro-goods. At the same time, a Kabul University lecturer, Saifuddin Saihoun told that Afghanistan and India have always had good relation in the course of history and we hope India to further cooperate with Afghanistan in economic development. 
Shukria Kohistani

Economic Sun, 18 Jun 2017 07:47:58 +0000
Afghanistan Receives $189 Million From WB In Reform Incentive Fund$189-million-from-wb-in-reform-incentive-fund.html$189-million-from-wb-in-reform-incentive-fund.html Afghanistan Receives $189 Million From WB In Reform Incentive Fund

Sunday June 18, 2017

Kabul (BNA) World Bank has provided $189 million as part of incentive program for Afghanistan.
Based on officials of Afghanistan ministry of finance, increasing of incomes, structural reforms, sound taxes management, effectiveness of assistance and bringing of reforms in development budget of provinces have attracted the attention and assistance of the World Bank to Afghanistan. Ajmal Abdul Rahimzai, a spokesman for Finance Ministry, said that the assistance would be spent in consideration to priorities in big development projects through national budget.
The assistance is part of $900 million incentive program for Afghanistan in return for reforms in five fields over the three years. Also, the National Unity Government presented an ambitious reform agenda in 2014 to revitalize the economy, however, the World Bank in a report recently said that its implementation has yet to gain momentum. On the other hand, parliamentary commission on finance and budget says incentive assistance can be effective in reduction of corruption in the country.
According to secretary of the commission Kamal Safi, such assistance has put good impacts in budgetary sections and would further help in reforms and better services in the country. He stressed that ministry of finance should spend such assistance provided by the World Bank in necessary areas in a transparent way. On the other hands, Afghanistan ministry of finance has considered transparency and counter corruption as top working priorities of the ministry and such assistance of the international community has result of the ministry’s efforts towards counter corruption and reforms.
Meanwhile, economical expert Ustad Saifuddin Saihoon said, “World Bank has provided assistance to Afghanistan in various fields and such assistance of the bank can be a good start for implementation of economic projects only if the assistance is spend in a transparent way.” It is worth mentioning that today Afghanistan has been able to bring changes in administrative and structural sections in particular changes in structural reforms, sound taxes management, effectiveness of assistance and bringing of reforms in development budget of provinces. According to economical experts and a number of parliamentarians, it is needed that Afghanistan government should further work for betterment of good governance and deliver valuable programs to the international community so that international organizations continue their assistance to the people and government of Afghanistan.
They also believe that the only work in which Afghanistan government should do is to seriously fight corruption and put counter corruption effort in its top priorities. 
Shukria Kohistani

Economic Sun, 18 Jun 2017 07:46:54 +0000
Minister Hakimi Participates In Annual Meeting of AIIB Board of Governors Minister Hakimi Participates In Annual Meeting of AIIB Board of Governors

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Eklil Hakimi, Minister of Finance participated at the 2nd annual meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) board of governors in Juju Island-South Korea, a statement from the ministry said yesterday.
Minister Hakimi briefed the president of AIIB, Jin Liqun, members and guests on the investments opportunities in Afghanistan, Priority infrastructure projects, funding projects, building railway, Kandahar Airport, Transit way (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan), establishing land ports and sustainable energy sources, Shatoot Storage Dam in Kabul and the Shal - Shagi Dam in Kunar, the Hisar I Shahi Solar Park in Nangarhar and some other national important projects, the statement added.
It is worth mentioning that, Afghanistan achieved AIIB membership on 23 March 2017.

Economic Sun, 18 Jun 2017 07:16:17 +0000
Honey Production Increasing In Nangarhar Honey Production Increasing In Nangarhar

Saturday June 17, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The honey production is on the rise in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan as the local officials are saying that the production of honey will further boost if the government provide them with necessary support.
Officials in the honey production association in Nangarhar are saying that enough honey will be produced for the export to the other provinces and outside the country if they receive the required modern equipment and other support from the government. The head of the association Riaz Mohammad Rodwal said the honey production has increased in this province as compared to the previous years, mainly due to the betterment of the weather condition, greenery of the province due to the plantation of trees and flowers, increase in number of farms and honey process firms.
He said the honey production will further rise and will be exported to other provinces and outside the country if they receive modern equipment and other support from the government. Rodwal further added that increase in honey production will also pave the way for the migration of the workers from other areas of the country provided that the necessary support is provided to the association and honey production workers, including support in the field of the greenery by plantation of trees, flowers, farms, and other facilities. According to the provincial government officials, currently there are around 400 honey production farms active in this province, producing honey and exporting to the other parts of the country.

Economic Sat, 17 Jun 2017 10:01:54 +0000